Whether you’ve got a deadline at work or a personal project calling your name, getting focused and tapping into your sense of creativity doesn’t always come so naturally. In fact, it can be downright difficult.
Energy drinks and nootropics are more popular than ever these days for getting a mental boost, but side effects can be a big concern. As yogis, we know that using natural tools and methods to boost focus and stimulate creativity is almost always going to be a safer and much healthier option — so here are seven great suggestions.
A wide variety of essential oils are known to help with focus and concentration, and all you need is a simple sniff to experience their power. Lavender is great for promoting relaxation while ylang ylang calms the emotions. Patchouli soothes the nervous system while eucalyptus clears the mind of clutter. You can even create blends by combining certain essential oils to strengthen their mind-boosting effects.
Meditation involves becoming aware of thoughts rather than trying to control or stop them. A daily meditation practice can help you increase your ability to focus, concentrate, and remember things. If you can set aside even just a couple minutes to meditate before diving into a big project or creative hobby, you should notice you feel less distracted, more focused, and perhaps even a little more creative.
Take a Power Nap
A quick 20-minute can do the mind a lot of good. Power napping boosts alertness and enhances cognitive function in ways that improve problem solving skills, learning, and memory. Just make sure you keep it short (less than 30 minutes) to avoid feeling groggy afterward.
There’s nothing like the great outdoors to calm a distracted mind and bring you back to the here and now. Although it’s not necessary, getting out into any area where there’s green space — such as a nearby park, courtyard, or trail — can offer more mental benefits than simply getting out in a busy urban area.
Move Your Body
Intense mental work often involves a lot of sitting or standing still for long periods, which can have a negative impact on the entire body if done for too long. Try going for a walk, stretching, or doing a short yoga practice to get your blood pumping and bring your mind back to the present moment.
There’s something insanely powerful about putting pen to paper and writing whatever comes to mind without thinking too hard about it. Whether you’re stuck on an idea or need to solve a problem, writing whatever you’re thinking is one of the most effective ways to organize your thoughts and put your feelings into words. Try sticking to old fashioned pen and paper rather than writing on a computer since writing activates your brain differently than typing does, and you might be surprised what comes out!
If writing isn’t your thing, try doodling! Grab a pen and a piece of paper and just start moving the pen with your hand any way that feels right without focusing too much on the end result. Your doodles don’t necessarily have to look like anything or make sense to you at all — as long as the practice of doodling is relaxing and enjoyable, that’s what really counts!